The Hunger Games: Catching Fire & Last Vegas (2013)

November 24, 2013

It would be nice if I could get to a point where I updated this blog on a daily basis. It really shouldn’t be that difficult to find 20 minutes a day (or even less) to write about something interesting that happened that day. My current excuses are that my schedule and my girlfriend keep me from doing much writing. I tend to work, hang out with Dina, stay up late, spend my free time playing or studying poker, and sleep away most mornings and early afternoons. Also, Dina doesn’t care much for sharing my attention, even with inanimate objects like computers and cell phones. Regardless, 20 minutes a day to write seems like a reasonable goal. But since I’ve had trouble updating this blog even a couple times a month, I’m starting smaller: one post a week and see if I can improve from there.

Obviously I like to write about movies, so what have I seen lately? Friday I saw Hunger Games: Catching Fire and I’m honestly not entirely sure how I felt about it. I read the first book, but lost interest very early into the second one so I have no basis to compare it to the source material. I will say I found it mostly enjoyable, even if it felt like it retread a lot of ground covered in the first movie. I was pretty excited when Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Katniss Everdeen, but this is probably the least interesting role I’ve seen her in. I’m looking forward to her next film American Hustle much more than I was this movie. Still, there are moments in Catching Fire that gave me goosebumps, particularly when Katniss and Peeta landed in Rue’s district on their victory tour. Truthfully, the story works best when Katniss is defying The Capital rather than when it focuses on it’s boring love triangle. The contestants in this Quarter Quell version of The Hunger Games which finds former victors facing off with one another are much more fleshed out and interesting than in the first film, but unfortunately, after quite a bit of build up the movie ends rather abruptly. I definitely thought: wait, where’s the climax? I wasn’t expecting too much of Catching Fire so overall, I found it enjoyable, but far from spectacular. Fans of the series will almost certainly enjoy it. 6/10

I also saw Last Vegas a couple weeks ago and it was also an okay movie. Obviously taking its cue from The Hangover, it’s a similar film for an older generation with a lighter sense of humor. Not many gross out gags, just a bunch of old guys gathering in Vegas for a wedding and shenanigans ensue that often play on their elderly state. The film is rather predictable, but I found it funny and liked it more than I thought it would. Older crowds with realistic expectations (i.e. recognizing none of these veteran actors are going to be on their A-game) should enjoy it quite a bit and even younger crowds should find it amusing. There’s not much meat to this movie so I don’t have too much to say about it. Worth a rental, I guess. 5.5/10

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